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Top 5+ Best BJJ Knee Braces (Reviews with Full Guide)

Looking for the best bjj knee brace? Well you’ve come to the right place. In this post, we’ll take look at options for the best knee support for bjj as well as comparing the most popular knee braces and knee sleeves.

Bauerfeind GENUTRAIN Knee Brace – Best Overall Knee Sleeve*
Neenca Knee BraceBest Affordable Knee Sleeve for BJJ
Shock Doctor – Runner Up

Knee BraceStandout QualityBiggest ConCostOverall Rating
*Bauerfeind GenuTrain*High quality material and comfortable fitMore expensive than others$$$5/5
NEENCA Professional Knee BraceAffordable with decent fitMay not be as durable as some other brands$4.5/5
Shock Doctor Ultra Knit Knee Support, Knee BraceExcellent padding and great fitNone* (more expensive than NEENCA)$$4.5/5
Anaconda Knee BraceStays putUses Velcro straps which can restrict$$3.5/5
CAMBIVO 2 Pack Knee Brace, Knee Compression SleeveComes in a pack of twoPoor sizing and no padding$2/5
Modvel Knee Braces for Knee PainGood for general knee pain reliefPoor sizing and no padding$2/5
EzyFit Knee Brace SupportAdjustable straps for a custom fitMinimal padding$2/5
Winzone Knee Brace by ComfyMedEasy to put on and adjustSmall and poor fit$2/5
McDavid Knee Brace with Side HingesSide hinges for added supportBulkier than sleeve-style braces$2/5
POWERLIX Leg SleeveCompression sleeveNo padding$2/5

Best BJJ Knee Braces (Ranked)

#1. Bauerfeind GENUTRAIN Knee Brace

+Great Fit
+High quality material
+Good amount of padding
+Offers the most support without being a “hard” knee brace
+No movement restriction
-On the expensive end

The Bauerfeind Genutrain Knee Brace is the top recommend knee sleeve for any knee soreness, or minor sprain. >>>Jump to our full review here

It just offers better fit, higher quality of material, and I’ve found that it stays in place better than other knee sleeves.

Some things that stood out to me on this knee sleeve were:

  • there is more fabric above the knee then below the knee (this seems to help keep it from sliding down more)
  • thick padding around the patella (but doesn’t limit movement)
  • it doesm’t have much of a rubber lining on the top and bottom openings (unlike the Neenca knee brace) which could mean that it may slide down a bit

With a more premium price tag, it may not be the choice for most. However, I always prefer to buy a quality product once instead of replacing a cheaper one down the road.

Note: if you need extra support and stability you should check out the Bauferfield Genutrain S

#2. Neenca Knee Brace

+Provides support without being restrictive
+Machine Washable
-May slip or slide down
-Stitching around patella padding may come undone over time

This is pick for best affordable knee sleeve. While the Bauerfeind knee sleeve is just better overall in terms of fit, comfort, and support, it does come at a higher price point.

The Neenca knee brace is one I’ve worn and used frequently in the past. It gets the job done at a cheaper price, but I found that the stitching may come undone especially around the gel insert.

Either way it’s still an excellent choice for a knee sleeve that offers some decent padding with little restriction at a very affordable price

#3. Shock Doctor Ultra Knit Knee Support

+Comfortable, breathable material
+Perfect fit
-Ideal amount of padding

The Shock Doctor Knee Sleeve is our runner up for best overall knee sleeve. It comes in at about half the price of the more premium Bauerfeind but truly hits all of our marks.

It has some solid gel inserts that offer more an enough padding, is comfortable to wear, and fits great. If you don’t want to save a little and still go with a quality option this is a great knee sleeve for any type of martial arts.

#4. Anaconda Knee Sleeve

+Good amount of padding
+Solid fit
-Uses velcro straps

The Anaconda knee sleeve is another good option that has a decent amount of padding and fits well.

However, when compared to the Neenca knee sleeve or the Shock Doctor knee sleeve, I just prefer a knee sleeve without velcro straps. Again, this may be my own personal preference, but I find velcro straps restrictive and a bit uncomfortable.

#5. Cambivo Knee Braces

+Anti-Slip silicone
-Not the best fit
-May not offer enough support
-Does not include any gel inserts (minimal padding)

The Cambivo knee sleeves didn’t really hit our marks.

The Camibov knee sleeves like the POWERLIX and Modvel sleeves are just fabric and do not include any gel inserts, and I’ve found that they really didn’t offer much support.

Additionally, while these are more affordable, I just found them overall poor fitting and not the best option for jiu jitsu practitioners.

#6. Modvel Knee Braces

+Made from a blend of Nylon and Latex
+Machine Washable
-May not always stay in place

Another affordable knee sleeve. This two pack from Modvel are simply fabric sleeves so don’t expect any gel inserts or additional padding.

For people who train BJJ or wrestling and are constantly putting pressure on their knees, we’d recommend something with more padding like the knee sleeves from Bauerfeind, Shock Doctor, or Neenca.

#7. EzyFit Knee Brace

+3 strap system
+Doesn’t cover much area
-Minimal padding
-Velcro straps may be too restrictive

The EZ fit knee sleeve is a knee sleeve that I wouldn’t recommend for BJJ. For me personally, I think a knee sleeve without velcro straps and that covers more area like the Neenca knee sleeve is best.

The EZ fit sleeve didn’t fit the best, and I couldn’t find a comfortable way attach the velcro straps to have them offer support while not being uncomfortable or restrictive.

#8. Winzone Knee Brace

+Velcro straps for extra support
-Poor fit
-Straps may have to pulled tight which can lead to discomfort

Another knee sleeve that relies on velcro straps is the Winzone Knee Stabilizer.

This knee sleeve may work for people with minor knee injuries, but I strongly wouldn’t recommend them for those training any type of martial art. It simply just doesn’t offer much protection, and I found that it doesn’t really stay put.

#9. McDavid Knee Brace with Side Hinges

+Great stability and support
-Not ideal for bjj or any close contact martial art
-Have to keep velcro traps tight to keep it in place
-Includes hard parts on outside of sleeve
-May limit mobility

The McDavid Knee Brace is made for maximum support with velcro and side hinges. However, with this amount of support I found it to definitely be restrictive and probably not recommend for Brazilian jiu jitsu.

Due to the hard side hinges, it may be dangerous to roll in bjj with it. This knee brace would be good if you are coming off of a serious knee injury and want to do some light activity. Again, it probably isn’t ideal to wear while doing any time of martial art or close contact activity.

Also many organizations like the IBJJF do not allow you to wear any knee sleeve with hard plastic or metal parts – so this one would not be allowed in bjj competitions.

#10. POWERLIX Knee Compression Sleeve

+Allows for great range of motion
-Doesn’t include any padding or gel inserts
-May have to size down

The POWERLIX Knee Compression Sleeve is similar to the Cambivo and Modvel sleeves in that it doesn’t include any extra padding or gel inserts. It is simply fabric that can offer some compression but doesn’t offer any padding.

It may not be ideal for jiu jitsu if you are looking for some extra padding due to how often training is performed on your knees.

What’s the Best Knee Brace for Martial Arts?

Our recommendations for the best knee brace for martial arts are:

  • Bauerfeind GENUTRAIN Knee Brace
  • Neenca Knee Brace

Here is a quick infographic on the different amount of support different knee braces offer:

While your choose will likely come down to personal preference, I’ve found that I prefer knee support from a knee sleeve that:

  1. Provides padding for my knee when wrestling, passing, or pinning
  2. Doesn’t get in the way of training

For these reasons, I prefer the knee sleeve from Bauerfeind or Powerlix as opposed to one with brackets or hinges like that from McDavid.

What’s the Best Knee Brace for Different Injuries?

For mild to moderate sprains or strains, a compression sleeve like the Bauerfeind Knee Compression Sleeve may offer sufficient support without limiting mobility. These sleeves can provide stability and warmth, which helps with inflammation and pain.

In cases of minor meniscus tears or moderate ligament injuries, braces with more stabilization, such as the Anaconda Knee Brace, are advisable. They generally feature side stabilizers and a patella support to manage knee alignment while allowing a range of motion conducive to recovery during light training.

Those suffering from severe ligament injuries, such as an ACL tear, may benefit from advanced braces like the Bauferfield Genutrain S. Such braces tend to be designed with hinges to mimic the knee’s natural movement while providing robust support, limiting harmful lateral and rotational motion.

What Are the Best Knee Sleeves for a Meniscus Tear

As always we recommend consulting with a healthcare professional for any serious injuries and before selecting the appropriate knee sleeve or knee brace.

However, some good options for knee sleeves when dealing with a meniscus tear are:

  • Bauerfeind Sports Knee Brace: Excellent support without compromising mobility
  • NEENCA Compression Sleeve: Offers solid support while still being more affordable

What’s the Difference Between a Knee Brace vs Knee Sleeve vs Knee Pads?

Knee Braces: They are medical devices used for both injury prevention and recovery. Braces often incorporate metal or plastic supports to stabilize the knee joint. They restrict potentially harmful ranges of motion and provide targeted support to injured areas.

  • Materials: Neoprene, Elastic, Rigid components
  • Purpose: Injury rehabilitation, Support for unstable knees
  • Use Case: Post-injury recovery, managing conditions like arthritis

Knee Sleeves: These are designed to compress and support the knee joint, enhancing blood flow which can help reduce pain and swelling during and after training. Unlike braces, sleeves don’t have rigid parts.

  • Materials: Neoprene, Nylon
  • Purpose: Compression, Mild support, Warmth retention
  • Use Case: Injury prevention, General knee support for performance

Knee Pads: They primarily provide cushioning and protect the knee from impacts and abrasions on the mats. Pads are not designed to support the joint structurally.

  • Materials: Foam padding, Gel inserts, Neoprene
  • Purpose: Impact protection, Abrasion resistance
  • Use Case: Protecting against mat burns, Absorbing shock from take downs

Does Wearing a Knee Brace Prevent Injury?

Knee braces are designed to prevent injury, but in terms of scientific research there hasn’t yet been a proven conlucsion

From the research available we find that knee braces help reduce the of frequency and severity of MCL injuries following valgus knee stresses. (SCOTT A. PALUSKA, M.D et al)

So knee braces are best for post injury rehab or to provide support after a minor injury

Can You Wear a Knee Sleeve or Knee Brace for Training or Sparring in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu?

Yes, you can wear a knee sleeve or knee brace during bjj training or sparring. However, a knee sleeve is strongly recommended as a knee brace with hard and rigid parts may not only be uncomfortable for you but dangerous for your training partners.

In conclusion, wearing a knee sleeve or brace during BJJ is generally acceptable as long as it doesn’t compromise safety or mobility.

Can You Compete While Wearing a Knee Sleeve

Yes, in most bjj competitions you can wear a knee sleeve. However, it is always best to check with the specific organizations rules.

Does the IBJJF Allow You to Compete While Wearing a Knee Sleeve?

The International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation (IBJJF) has specific guidelines for apparel and gear during competitions. Yes, they permit the use of knee sleeves, provided they meet certain criteria:

  • The knee sleeve must be made of a cloth-like material.
  • It should not have any hard parts, including but not limited to plastic or metal.
  • The knee sleeve must be black, white, or the same color as the rank (belt) of the athlete.

How Do You Clean a Knee Sleeve

Cleaning a knee sleeve properly can extend its life and maintain its support and comfort. Below is a step-by-step guide:

  1. Preparation:
    • Remove any loose dirt by gently brushing the knee sleeve.
    • Fill a basin with warm water.
  2. Mix Cleaning Solution:
    • Add a small amount of mild detergent to the water.
    • For extra deodorization, one could add a small amount of vinegar.
  3. Hand Washing:
    • Submerge the knee sleeve in the mixture.
    • Soak for up to 30 minutes to loosen dirt and odors.
    • Gently scrub the sleeve with your hands or a soft brush.
  4. Rinsing:
    • After washing, rinse the sleeve thoroughly with clean water to remove soap residue.
  5. Drying:
    • Wring out excess water carefully, without twisting the fabric harshly.
    • Lay flat or hang the sleeve to air dry for at least 24 hours away from direct heat or sunlight.

Note: It is advisable to avoid machine washing and drying as it may damage the material or alter the sleeve’s shape. Always consult the manufacturer’s care instructions specific to the knee sleeve brand for the best results.

What Other Protective Equipment Should You Consider for BJJ

When training in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ), besides knee braces, practitioners should consider additional protective gear to minimize injury risks and improve safety during rigorous training sessions and sparring.

  • Mouth guards: Essential for protecting teeth and reducing the risk of concussion. They come in various forms from boil-and-bite models to custom-fitted ones.
  • Ear Guards: To prevent cauliflower ear, a common condition among grapplers, well-ventilated ear guards with a secure fit are recommended.
  • Rash Guards: These protect against mat burn, skin infections, and also provide muscle compression. They can come with long or short sleeves.
  • Spats/Leggings: Worn under shorts or Gi pants, they provide the same benefits as rash guards for the lower body and keep muscles warm.

Here’s a simple overview table:

ItemPurposeFeatures to Look For
Mouth guardProtects teeth; reduces concussion riskBoil-and-bite, custom-fit
Ear GuardsPrevents cauliflower earSecure fit; good ventilation
Rash GuardsPrevents skin infections; provides compressionMaterial quality; fit; sleeve length
SpatsMuscle warmth and compressionDurable material; comfortable fit
HeadgearAdditional protectionDoes not restrict vision; lightweight

Injuries can put a significant damper on one’s training progress, so investing in these protective items is a wise decision for any BJJ practitioner.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Is Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Hard on Your Knees? (What Causes the Most Knee Injuries in BJJ?)

Knee injuries have been shown to be the highest injury when it comes to bjj statistics.

Knee injuries in BJJ commonly come from the knee being twisted or compressed at unusual angles, rather than from leg lock submissions. Falling body weight, scrambles, incorrect technique execution, and takedowns are the most common cause of these injuries.

When practicing BJJ, athletes frequently perform take downs, sweeps, pins, and submissions that involve twisting and bending the knees. This can lead to various types of injuries such as:

Common Knee Injuries in BJJ:

  • Ligament Strains and Tears: The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), posterior cruciate ligament (PCL), medial collateral ligament (MCL), and lateral collateral ligament (LCL) are at risk during high-impact motions.
  • Meniscus Tears: The meniscus can be damaged during twisting movements when the foot is planted and the knee is bent.
  • Patellar Issues: The kneecap or surrounding tendons may suffer from excessive stress.

Common Causes of Knee Injuries:

  • Knee hyperextension
  • Impact from takedowns and falls
  • Shear forces from rapid directional changes
  • Twisting motions while foot planted (as seen commonly in knee reaping injuries)


  • Tap early
  • Warm up properly
  • Avoid overtraining
  • Avoid wrestling if possible
  • Consider using a knee sleeve
  • Move slowly and deliberately
  • Do some weight or strength training

What features should I look for in a high-quality BJJ knee brace?

High-quality BJJ knee braces typically feature durable material, adequate compression, and anatomical design. Comfort and support are crucial, as well as braces with patellar stabilization for those with specific knee cap issues.

How can a knee brace assist in injury recovery for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioners?

A knee brace can aid in recovery by providing compression to reduce swelling, support to injured ligaments, and warmth that promotes blood flow. This helps practitioners return to training with added joint stability.

What are the differences between knee braces and knee pads for BJJ?

Knee braces provide structural support to the knee joint, often with hinges and straps, while knee pads primarily offer cushioning protection against impacts to the knee cap and surrounding area. Braces are more focused on injury prevention and recovery, whereas pads are for impact protection.

Can wearing a knee brace improve knee stability during BJJ training?

Wearing a knee brace can indeed improve knee stability during BJJ training, as it provides extra support to the knee joint, may prevent hyperextension, and helps maintain proper alignment during dynamic movements.

What are the regulations regarding knee brace usage in BJJ competitions?

Regulations on knee brace usage in BJJ competitions vary by organization. Generally, braces must be free of metal or hard plastic that can harm an opponent. It’s important to check with specific competition rules for permitted gear.

Can You Wear Knee Pads in BJJ?

Yes, you can wear knee pads in BJJ. Buying protective gear and equipment continues beyond gis or rash guards. Knee pads offer extra protection for the kneecaps, which is essential for BJJ practitioners.

How Tight Should a Knee Brace Be?

Your knee braces should be tight, but not enough that it severely limits your movement or proper circulation. As always you should considered your comfort and breathability. If it restricts your movement or cuts off circulation it is too tight.

How Long Do Knee Braces Last?

How your knee braces last depend on how and where you use them and how you care for them. It usually lasts long (for years), given that the knee braces are made from high-quality materials, such as fabric, velcros, and hinges. 

My Neenca knee sleeve which I’ve had for over 3 years is still in decent condition. However, there is some fraying of seams and then inner gel patella padding frequently comes out of place.

How Do I Care for Knee Brace

After using it in your training, cleaning and washing your braces is recommended. Make sure to check if your knee braces are machine washable. If not, clean your knee braces in cold water and light soap, let them soak and move them from time to time before rinsing and hanging to air dry.  

Should I Wear Knee Pads All the Time for BJJ?

No, it is not necessary to wear knee pads in BJJ. This decision is purely on your preference. But if a knee pad or sleeve adds more comfort to your BJJ training, then yes, feel free to wear them during all your training.

Can You Wear a Knee Brace in a BJJ Competition?

Yes, you can wear a knee brace in competitions. Most competitions allow you to wear some knee sleeves during matches. However, most do not allow you to wear a knee brace that has rigid or hard parts.

The IBJJF allows knee sleeves as long as the knee sleeve must be made of a cloth-like material, doesn’t have any hard parts, and it must be black, white, or the same color as the belt rank of the competitor.


Paluska SA, McKeag DB. Knee braces: current evidence and clinical recommendations for their use. Am Fam Physician. 2000 Jan 15;61(2):411-8, 423-4. PMID: 10670507.